On Sunday (7/22) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist high. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to thigh high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh high with luck. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore continued in the waist to chest high range with occasionally bigger sets at the right breaks. The East Shore report was not available.
North/Central California had a little northwest windswell producing something to ride, but nothing more. Southern California was near flat with only the faintest southern hemi swell trying to peek through. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. The South Shore continued to be the standout spot as it has for the past week with small southern hemi swell dribbling through mixed with easterly tradewind swell producing waist to chest high surf and rarely bigger when it all comes together just right at the right breaks. That local windswell on the East Shore was starting to fade after yesterdays big boost from Tropical Depression Cosme. The North Pacific remains in hibernation for the summer with no swell producing fetch forecast other than locally generated windswell. The South Pacific continues in it's lackluster mode not producing anything any near significant class levels, though a gale past well south of Tahiti a week back (7/15) generating 27 ft seas through Wednesday (7/18) mostly east of the Hawaiian swell window and a bit too weak and aimed too easterly to provide much for California. Small south swell for Hawaii mid-week. Another smaller one set up south of Hawaii Fri (7/20) generating 25 ft seas for 24 hours pushing well to the north, good for another round of small swell for late next weekend. Yet one more stronger system is on the charts starting Monday (7/23) expected to generate 30-32 ft seas over a tiny area focused best for Hawaii initially but shadowed by Tahiti relative to the mainland, then improving and becoming unshadowed Wednesday with 35 ft seas supposedly pushing north for a little over 24 hours. Will believe it when it happens. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (7/22) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with a weak split flow tracking half north of the Aleutians and the other half south of there but highly diffused. No winds greater than 90 kts indicated. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast. Beyond 72 hours a weak trough is forecast to set up in the Gulf of Alaska Wednesday (7/25) into Thursday generating maybe 110 kt winds aimed southwest towards the US west coast. Very limited support for surface level low pressure development at best.
At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1024 mbs remained anchored 800 nmiles north-northwest of the Hawaiian Islands generating enhanced tradewinds in combination with the remains of Tropical Depression Cosme passing southwest of Kauai and exiting to the west. Easterly windswell was already fading from 5.7 ft @ 8 secs with surf in the 4 ft range along easterly shores (and occasionally more). A calm pattern was off California and the Pacific Northwest with no significant pressure pattern in play and no swell producing fetch indicated there. Elsewhere the North Pacific was in a calm state with no pressure pattern of interest in-play. Over the next 72 hrs the high pressure system that has been locked north of Hawaii is to push a little east setting up a weak pressure gradient along the California coast generating 20-25 kt northwest winds initially off Pt Conception Tuesday (7/24) then tracking north towards a more standard location off Cape Mendocino by Wednesday. This might produce limited short period junky windswell at best. The movement of the high and the lack of low pressure south of it to suppress tradewinds over the Hawaiian Islands by Tuesday with the windswell there fading out.
Tropical Depression Cosme is currently passing southwest of Kauai with sustained winds 35 kts. Continued movement to the west and no strengthening is is forecast. No swell producing potential is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (7/22) a neutral pressure pattern was in effect near shore with no swell producing winds indicated. Weak low pressure was pushing into British Columbia while high pressure held north of the the Hawaiian Islands. As the low pressure system moves inland the Hawaiian high pressure system is forecast to start building towards the coast increasing northerly winds initially off Pt Conception on Monday to the 20-25 kt range then recentereing itself near Cape Mendocino by Tuesday (7/24) with winds 25 kts. Short period windswell expected to build. Some weakening of the winds and windswell is forecast Thursday through Friday, then things to regenerate Saturday (7/28) on through next weekend with windswell on the rise.
Sundays jetstream charts (7/22) for the South Pacific indicated the last fading remnants of a majorly split flow fading out with the last bit of energy pushing south over Antarctica. Most energy was in the northern branch with winds 170 kts tracking from north of New Zealand steadily to the southeast finally pushing into Southern Chile. A bit of a trough was trying to set up under New Zealand feeding up into the northern branch, but pretty minimal. In all the pattern isn't horrible, but no large-scale push of energy was headed north, and instead the overall trend was to the south and east. Very limited support for surface level gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (7/25) a zonal flow is forecast to develop with the north and southern branches running near parallel to each other flowing west to east, and no wholesale troughs or ridges of interest forecast providing no support for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast with just a moderate easterly and parallel flow forecast for both branches of the jet. No support for surface level gale development.
At the surface today weak disorganized low pressure appeared to have the upper hand, especially in the Southwest Pacific, though none of it was of particular interest. No swell producing fetch was in-play. Over the next 72 hours starting Monday (7/23) a complex area of low pressure (really 2 separate lows in close proximity to each other) are to set up east of New Zealand generating an elongated fetch of southwesterly winds with the core reaching 45 kts near 43S 163W. A tiny area of 32 ft seas are forecast in this area. The fetch to continue into the evening drifting generally east with peak winds near the 40 kts range. 32 ft seas over a tiny area at 40S 158W More of the same is forecast Tuesday morning with a more defined central area of 40 kts winds setting up near 42S 150W aimed a bit east of the 200 degree path to California and almost out of the Hawaiian swell window. a broader area of near 30 ft seas are forecast at 40S 150W mostly out of the Hawaiian swell window. Winds to build to 45 kts in this area by evening with 32 ft seas forecast at 40S 145W. By Wednesday AM (7/25) the last fading remnants of this fetch to be centered at 40S 144W with winds 45 kts aimed well up the 196 degree path to California and outside the Hawaiian swell window.35 ft seas are forecast at 39S 144W aimed northeast, fading from 32 ft in the evening at 36S 137W. If this occurs as forecast some form of small southern hemi swell would be likely for California roughly a week to 9 days later. Hawaii to pick up some side band energy, but nothing distinct.
A small gale developed Sunday (7/15) generating 35-40 kt winds and 27 ft seas near 50S 150-160W pushing northeast, ineffective for swell production relative to California but enough for some small utility class swell for Hawaii. Swell arrival expected Sunday (7/22) at 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces but best spots to near 5 ft on the peak). Swell to be fading from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs early Monday (7/23) (same size surf as Sunday). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees
Another fetch developed late Thursday (7/19) into Friday associated with a 984 mb low well south of Tahiti. 30-35 kts south winds were confirmed at roughly 50S 160W into early Saturday (7/21) generating 23-25 ft seas at 45S 155W targeting Hawaii quite well through mid-Saturday (7/21). Swell expected in Hawaii starting Sunday (7/29) at 2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) and on the increase. Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate high pressure to continuing in the 1024 mb range north of Hawaii ridging east into California. The net result is to be some form of 20 kts winds over a small area off Cape Mendocino and a building area of 15-20 kt trades pushing over the Hawaiian Islands. Short period small windswell to expected result. No change forecast through Saturday (7/28).
MJO Moving to the Inactive Phase: The active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) appears to have run it's course with westerly winds along the equator associated with it now pushing into Central America and expected to be gone by later this week (7/26). The result of this phase has been the brief development of hurricane Cosme east of Hawaii and a slight warming of equatorial waters off Ecuador. The daily SOI is returning to near neutral with the 30 day average currently -11 and the 90 day average at -1.59. Any gains made are likely to be eliminated through in the coming weeks with a very strong pulse of the 'inactive phase' apparently building over Indonesia and seeping east into the greater Pacific. Current models suggests this pulse to work it's way across the equatorial Pacific through mid-August.
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate a generalized area of low pressure to build south of Tahiti starting Friday (7/27) tracking east through next weekend, but all of it's limited 35 kt fetch to be aimed due east, with nothing targeting either California or Hawaii. 25-29 ft seas are modeled, but none of it to be useful to our forecast area. Chile to be in the bulls eye through.
Details to follow...
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Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here: http://www.surfingtravel.com/
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table